Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

 

Faith 

I’m Faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Faith 

Greetings, faith. Greetings to you, Lois. How are you doing?

 

Lois 

I am doing well. I’m wondering, how are you feeling after our conversation about what happens to your body when you’re generous.

 

Faith 

Oh, so much better, because I’m treating it better. And I’m listening to it and it’s responding well.

 

Lois 

So cool. I love the fact that we’re calling on ourselves and others to really observe what’s going on. And I’m seeing things start to seep out and trickle out as an impact of generosity, which is super, super cool because it kind of takes on this life of its own.

 

Faith 

That is for sure.

 

Lois 

So if you missed the podcast, go to our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com or go to your favorite podcast platform and you can sign up for our newsletter and get our podcast in your email. Well, maybe no arena of your life is impacted more by being generous than your spiritual way of being and we are on Episode 112: How does generosity influence your spirituality?

 

Faith 

I love this. And for me personally, when I am generous, to give myself the space and the time, to be reflective, and to look at how my spirituality impacts my life and how I treat others and how I treat myself and how I view the world events through the spiritual lens, that gives me a sense of peace.So generosity for me in my spirituality is giving myself that platform, that perspective to see things from a different point of view entirely than from a worldview, it’s more from a spiritual point of view. And so, yeah, it’s a very special place for me. And I apply it often.

 

Lois 

Oh, I can’t wait to explore this more in depth is we’re going to be chatting today. And I guess I’ve always really felt that how can I even have a spiritual connection, when I’m not generous? When I find that I’m in a not so generous mood, I find that my connection to my spirituality ceases. Because I’m not open. I’m not looking for ways to be empathetic or compassionate or to listen, and it’s as if I start to harden in areas. And so at that point, there just is no spiritual connection because I can’t I can’t relate to something outside of myself at a bigger greater because I’m so consumed with myself. And when I get generous than I, it’s like I pop these bubbles outside of me, the air gets to release and then I can connect again with my spiritual source. And so I find it so important to be generous if I want to be connected spiritually, because they so are intertwined in how I understand my faith practice to be lived out. If I actually say that you’ll only know about my faith through the way I act and how I treat people. If I’m not being generous, then it doesn’t show any place. And so it matters not.

 

Faith 

That is absolutely true. Yeah, and the whole basis of my faith and our listeners know that we’re Christian. But the key thing for me out of my Christian teaching is love as I have loved you, and love your neighbor as yourself. And in that is such generosity is about how we have been loved and how we have been given to and now do it likewise. Give it away ran. So when you do that, and that general Rossi comes back, something happens and our spirits do open up. And a lot of changes for us.

 

Lois 

Right? Because we’re not so possessive of our time Yeah, of myself, just I have to be just there. I’m open so things can grow. And they can’t grow if I keep it shut down. So, you know, this month, we’re talking about being generous in four key areas of your life. And we’ve talked about relationships and your body, and next week, we’re going to hit on your craft. But this week, we are exploring how spirituality and generosity are connected. And we’re really grateful for a host of different ways to look at this connection from www.spiritualityandpractice.com. And I love the idea that when you look at all of the world religions, there is one common theme for every single one, and that is generosity, which is really kind of astounding today.

 

Faith 

Amazing. I love that. I love that that’s a common thread.

 

Lois 

And generosity is for everyone. It’s not just for For you, if you’re in a good mood, it’s not just for you, if you’re ticked off, it’s not just for you if you’re in a group or practice a certain way, it is for everyone. And and today we’d like to really share how many faith practices agree on this one issue, which makes it extremely powerful no matter where you are. And if you’re someone who doesn’t practice any faith tradition whatsoever, you still know what it means to be generous, and how that connects you with everyone around you. So this is still for you.

 

Faith 

Indeed, so we can begin with Anglican Archbishop and Nobel Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu. And he writes, God has a dream like humility. generosity comes from seeing that everything we have and everything we accomplish comes from God’s grace and God’s love for us and African understanding of what is that a boon to? Oh, okay, there you go. Thank you. I humility and just generosity also come from realizing that we could not be alive. Nor could we accomplish anything without the support, love and generosity of all people who have helped us to become the people we are today. Certainly it is from experiencing this generosity of God and the generosity of those in our life, that we learn gratitude, and to be generous to others. Wow, there it is.

 

Lois 

It’s so well said and so today we’re going to be sharing with you quotes from people of all different faiths. And at the core is what generosity means to them. But also we’d like to share with you how it applies to so many of us no matter where your tradition lies, and that is a really powerful one that they come from realizing that we couldn’t be alive or accomplish anything. Without this support, love and generosity of everyone who who’s helped us get here and look at your own life and look at all the people who have influenced you who have have supported you who have come alongside of you have just lifted you up when you needed it most. That’s the generous spirit that helped you keep moving. Thank you so much Desmond Tutu. Now Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg writes, In Loving Kindness, the Buddha said that no true spiritual life as possible without a generous heart. generosity, allies itself with an inner feeling of abundance, the feeling that we have enough to share.

 

Faith 

I love that.

 

Lois 

I do too. And we were talking about that in our last podcast, when you when you realize that you will not your well will not run dry. If you’re being generous, you have enough and you can give because when we’re talking about generosity, we’re not talking about $1 amount, or even a time amount or a commitment amount. We’re talking about the way you express kindness and generosity to people around you and to your environment as well. Hmm. You know, it’s true. It’s really cool. We were just on this holiday and We were staying at a place where the people that were running the VR Bo, that we were staying had such a compassion for animals that they have roosters as pets. And then they also cared for these darling crabs, hundreds of them, where they would bring in shells and put them on a mesh tray. And at night, the crabs would come and grab one of the shells and go into the bushes. And I said, Well, what happens to the shell? Well, said the proprietor. Now they have a new shell. I said, but don’t can’t they just get them out in the ocean. She says, No, things have changed so much. There’s so many people out here. So her generosity was just for these crabs who in no way could pay back it allied with her inner feeling of abundance, like you know, I have something I can give here, some shells for the silly crabs. And I just that just really stuck with me that I can be generous in so many ways.

 

Faith 

Oh, that’s beautiful. And Jose Hobday is in Simple Living, explains how generosity is viewed In the Native American community, we used to say you could tell if a person was authentic. This is what he says whether or not she had a red heart. A red heart had to do with whether the heart had blood from being massaged by good works, especially sharing. Oh, that’s a visual. It certainly is. I wonder if it increases growth and yeah, get a bigger heart. But that ties into that when the person says while they have such a big heart, and it ties right into that, because it does. There’s something about when you give, you just expand in your own self, to not only just feel good, but to know that you have done something beyond yourself. And that comes back in so many ways to return to you for more blessing.

 

Lois 

And that’s that sharing idea. Yeah, and you know, red hearts, from my Danish tradition. They’re everywhere and I never thought of them as kind of symbolizing this This love and growth and sharing because I think we think of Valentine’s and red hearts, but this is about how we give very powerful that is. So Rami Shapiro in Hasidic Tales observes acts of generosity are essential to the spiritual life, reflecting as they do an awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings. Judaism sets a minimum standard for giving 10% of your earnings, but the hasid, the compassionate disciple of God, goes beyond the letter of the law.

 

Faith 

This is powerful. It is Yeah, and even even the, the teachings of Jesus is that it It all belongs to God, it all doesn’t belong to you, you don’t own it. So if you think about that, it’s like, wow, I don’t possess I don’t claim I don’t hoard and hold on to but rather, it’s there to be able to give away and I had a really beautiful experience. Many years ago, and I’ve had others since then, but this one comes to mind. And that is there was a person that was really struggling with me as a person. And I had just about a year before had bought this beautiful Ruby ring that I really liked. And one day, she noticed that inches, that’s really a beautiful ring. Well, the tensions continued to grow. And it grew and grew, and it became more of a problem than it needed to be. And one day I was sitting there, and I just really felt strongly within myself, it’s time to give her that rain. Wow. And I was my first thing was to possess it. Yeah, right. Now, wait a minute. I really like this, but it just would not go away. It was one of those times where it just kept nudging inside. And so the day came when I went to her and I said, I have something for you. And I gave it to her. And she said what are you doing? And I said, this is yours now, I give it to you freely. And she burst into tears. And it changed the relationship. It shifted a mindset that she had towards me, because I was generous and I didn’t want anything in return. I just knew I needed to give it to her. It was now hers. That’s a powerful thing when we listen to what maybe is being nudged inside. Sometimes we get too possessive of our things.

 

Lois 

And we limit ourselves like in this teaching to 10%. So something small Yeah, but you took the limit off, you burst through that and opened it up to doing beyond what was expected, which is this whole theme of generosity. Wow, that’s beautiful.There’s a ring you’re wearing…

 

Faith 

Let me think about it.

 

Lois 

No, I just took away the whole beauty of so we are in Episode 112: How does generosity influence your spirituality?

 

Faith 

And Matthew Fox in Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, he writes this generosity is about giving without a guaranteed return. It is about the giveaway. I believe that the true moral path of the 21st century will be very different from the path of the modern era, because it will be marked by generosity. Oh, may that be so.

 

Lois 

The giveaway? I know isn’t that a great that’s another great way to construct that idea of generosity. This is a giveaway. And we’re not used to that. I know we attach strings and sometimes we don’t even realize how much we do that when we’re being generous. So that’s another way and a spiritual way to look at this because generosity and influencing your spirituality. That is what we’re diving into here. Buddhist teacher Norman Fischer writes in Taking our Places, the practice of general prosody is a good way to counteract whatever tendency to stealing we might have to practice generosity is to make a conscious effort to give away whatever we can money, time food feeling, as a way of realizing that generosity is perfectly safe. And it’s even a relief to give things away

 

Faith 

Oh that is so true. I mean, the hoarding thing that we do, I mean, we don’t need the things that we have and when you can give it to Goodwill, and if you can give it to a friend or a family member who needs something, you give them joy, you give them something that will bless them in a unique way, rather than No, I think I might need this What if I need it tomorrow? What if I need it next week or a month from or a year from a year and it’s still sitting there right? And somebody else could be using it and at Christmas time or any throughout the holidays? To give to a need is so rewarding Not only for the person and the people who receive it, but for you as well, because you want to give it away. But isn’t it interesting that it’s usually around the holidays, that people want to do that. And then the rest of the year, they kind of close their wallet. Right? You know, and it’s like, none to know, generosity isn’t a seasonal thing. It’s an everyday thing.

 

Lois 

And we’re in the second month of the year. So we are encouraging you to think of generosity in every aspect of your life. And as it pertains to spirituality, this reminder that it’s safe, is just beautiful. It’s, it’s, again, we’re going against that model of scarcity, that there will be more, it’s okay, you can give that and more will come to you. And that’s the beauty and we don’t do it so that more will come and it will, and it does.

 

Faith 

One of my favorite spiritual influences is Graham Cooke. And he has this wonderful thing that Iit’s always in my mind, if you will. Want more, give more. There you go. And it’s true. The more you give, the more it comes back and it may come back to you in different ways, but it will come back.

 

Lois 

So that is a key proponent of Episode 112: How does generosity influence your spirituality?

 

Faith 

And Henry Nouwen in Sabbatical Journey writes, I think that generosity has many levels. We have to think generously. Speak generously and act generously. thinking well of others and speaking well of others is the basis for generous giving. It means that we relate to others as part of our gen or kin and treat them as family. Wow. generosity cannot come from guilt or pity. It has to come from the hearts that are fearless and free and are willing to share abundantly, all that is given to us. It seems that generosity through these teachers is a spiritual practice, right?

 

Lois 

It really does. And it influences so much. And I mean, I love this idea of from Nouwen that goes back to thinking well of others and speaking well of others, is the basis of our generous giving. And I. And I think that in our whole month of discussing generosity, you can’t just jump into one thing if you’re not practicing it and living it in another area of your life, right? I mean if you’re thinking bad thoughts about someone, it’s going to be very hard to say something complimentary to them. So it has to do with this whole mindset shift, and also has to do with how we interact in our relationships, how we treat our body. So therefore, in our spiritual practice, we are ready to be giving more so that we can receive more.

 

Faith 

And if you do have a problem with somebody, one of the most generous things you can do is to go to them and say, Can we talk about this? Can we resolve it? That’s a generous gift. You’re opening the door to a possibility of reconciliation.

 

Lois 

And if reconciliation for some reason isn’t possible, continue to think that’s right to the positive, good thoughts for them, all will be well for them, even if they don’t have an interaction with you. So we really hope you’re going to find a nugget in some of these spiritual teachers that we shared with you today that you can embrace for yourself and then share them with someone you know,

 

Faith 

Every act of kindness counts. In the bigger picture. You are free to be kind and generous. And this is a key teaching of all of the world’s religions.

 

Lois 

Each of us matter. And when you are generous to one person you give away without any guarantee of a return.

 

Faith 

Please share this podcast with a friend.

 

Lois 

And join us next week as we wonder how does generosity show up in your craft?

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

 

Lois 

No matter what you facing relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you, there is always more to life.

 

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.